Director Lamberto Sanfelice’s film debuted at Sundance and is now available to all of us!
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17-year-old Jenny is a normal teenager from Ostia who loves her friends and her synchronized swimming team, but her mother dies, and her world falls apart. The death of a parent would have been traumatizing enough, but for Jenny, the tragedies pile up when her father suffers a mental collapse and stops caring for his daughter and 8-year-old son.
When the bank forecloses on their house in Ostia and her father still isn’t snapping out of it, Uncle Tondino tells them to return to the family’s hometown in the mountains of Abruzzo. He gives them a run down cabin to live in, but that’s about the extent of his charity; he leaves Jenny and her brother Fabrizio to figure the rest out.
Cloro is Jenny’s story alone, and we can wonder how little Fabri’ is getting along, or why her father seems to blame herself for her mother’s death, or why her uncle’s wife is being so hostile to the situation, but we can only guess. The film’s focus is Jenny and her single-minded obsession with getting back to Ostia for a synchronized swimming competition. It’s as though we are underwater with Jenny, and the world above is a muted distraction that Jenny, in survival mode, is determined to tune out.
She puts her shoulder to the wheel, stoically getting though her hotel cleaning job, making sure her brother is clean, fed, and at school, and does her best to keep in shape for the competition that she is positive she’ll make it back in time for. Is she enjoying sex with the shady hotel caretaker or is she trading it for time in the hotel’s pool? We can’t tell, and probably not even Jenny could answer that question. She needs the pool and she’s lonely. You do the math.
Sanfelice couldn’t have done a better job of getting us inside the head of a self-centered teenage girl whose young life has been flung into premature adulthood. And if the outcome is unsatisfying, well, such is life.
Sara Serraiocco -Jenny
Piera Degli Esposti Piera Degli Esposti – school principal
Giorgio Colangeli Giorgio Colangeli – Uncle Tondino
Ivan Franek – Ivan the caretaker